Two Union students named 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars

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CRANFORD, NJ — Camila Taddeo and Maryann Ossai are two Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society scholars from Union College of Union County who were selected as 2023 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars and will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Taddeo, of Union Township, is the president of Union’s PTK chapter and is studying nursing. She has also received the StudyBuddy TEAS & HESI Prep award, a $300 value. In partnership with PTK, this award will provide members with access to, an eLearning platform that provides completely asynchronous online courses that focus on conceptual understanding of the material to help students achieve higher scores on exams. Ossai, of Hillside, is majoring in public administration and was selected as a 2023 Coca-Cola Military Leaders of Promise Scholar.

The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program helps new PTK members defray educational expenses while enrolled in associate degree programs. Scholars are encouraged to assume leadership roles by participating in Society programs and are selected based on scholastic achievement, community service and leadership potential. Nearly 1,100 applications were received.

A total of $213,000 will be awarded this year through the Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation provides $200,000 in funding for the scholarships, with $25,000 set aside for members who are veterans or active members of the United States military. The remaining amount is supported by donations to the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation, which provides multiple Global Leaders of Promise Scholarships earmarked for international students.

“The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has a long history of providing financial assistance to outstanding students at community colleges,” said Jane Hale Hopkins, president of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation. “We are proud to partner with Phi Theta Kappa to make it possible for more deserving students to achieve their educational goals and support tomorrow’s leaders of the global community.”

The funds provided by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation not only aid college completion, but also give students the opportunity to engage in society programs and develop leadership skills to become future leaders in their communities.

“Research shows that Phi Theta Kappa members are four times more likely to complete a college degree than their peers,” said Monica Marlowe, executive director of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation. “The Leaders of Promise Scholarships recognize students for what they have achieved already and assure that financial need isn’t an obstacle to achieving their academic goals.”

“Thank you to PTK for awarding both Camila and Maryann with this scholarship. We know that finances are one of the largest barriers to pursuing and completing a degree and scholarships make a huge difference. Awards like this allow students to focus on their academics versus worrying about how to pay for their education. We are grateful to PTK for recognizing and investing in our scholars,” said UCUC President Margaret M. McMenamin.

Photos Courtesy of Margaret Ortuso